No one is eager to hear from the IRS, as the Fort Lauderdale accountants of Sterling Accounting know. But, just as there are several different reasons the IRS would send a letter, there are also a number of ways to handle a missive from the tax man.
Consumer Reports has gathered a useful collection of tips for interpreting and coping with IRS letters. Here are some worth considering.
Contrary to what you see in some media, IRS audit requests are not ubiquitous. But they do happen.
If you receive and audit request, the first thing you should do is contact a qualified professional such as the Fort Lauderdale accountants of Sterling Accounting.
According to Consumer Reports: “If you do get an audit request notice, take it to your tax preparer or find a qualified certified public accountant or enrolled agent, a professional authorized by the IRS to prepare tax returns and represent taxpayers at all levels. One common audit trigger is underpayment of quarterly estimated taxes by those who are self-employed. To avoid it, pay roughly what you paid last year split into four payments”
Notice of overpaid taxes
Not every letter from the IRS is a harbinger of trouble. Sometimes the agency sends taxpayers good news.
From Consumer Reports: “Notice CP49 tells you when the IRS applies any overpaid taxes to other taxes you owe. It requires no action on your part unless you disagree with the amount.”
No matter what kind of letter you get from the IRS, the best policy is to consult professionals such as the Fort Lauderdale accountants of Sterling. Consumer Reports writes, “If an IRS missive lands in your mailbox, open it quickly. Let your tax preparer know about all but minor issues. Respond within the prescribed period—usually 30 days—and put your answer in writing. Include photocopies of any evidence you need to provide. If the notice mentions name misspellings or wrong Social Security numbers, check your return and call the IRS with the proper information.”